The British Fashion Industry Forge Trade Ties with China
A strengthening trade bond between Britain and China has been reinforced by two key events…
First up The British Fashion Council (BFC) launched the organisation’s China Partnerships Strategy with Ambassadorial President David Beckham. Taking place in Shanghai David Beckham was supported by Stephanie Phair, BFC Chair; Dylan Jones, BFC Chair of Menswear and Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive.
The strategy launched at a lunch was attended by existing and potential new key partners, invited by the BFC and Beckham. Guests included Xia Ding, President of JD International Fashion; Paul David Haouzi, President & Executive Director Trinity Group; Claire Chung, China General Manager Yoox Net-A-Porter, Patrick Tsang, Chairman Tsang Group and Judy Liu, Managing Director China Farfetch.
The lunch confirmed £500,000 worth of deals including JD.com and Ruyi’s co-sponsorship of the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund, JD.com’s support for the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and support from Britain’s Department of International Trade. In addition to deals done, the BFC continue to explore the next stage of their innovative partnership with VIP.com and their long-term partnership with Fung Retailing Group.
L to R: Francis Srun, Xia Ding, David Beckham, Dylan Jones and Caroline Rush image courtesy of the BFC
David Beckham, BFC Ambassadorial President said: “Promoting the British fashion industry in China is an important part of my new role with the British Fashion Council. I hope that through events like today we are able to shine a light on the incredible creative talent we have in the UK and promote that talent on a global scale. The opportunity in China for connecting creatively and driving investment into British fashion is huge. Today we are able to show real commitment from Chinese businesses to future fashion leaders in the UK and in parallel, share our experience, knowledge and platforms with emerging Chinese designers.”
The BFC’s China Partnerships Strategy is focused on three key areas and solidifies the organisation’s commitment to making access to the Chinese market easier for British designer businesses:
- Support for emerging talent with mentoring on the Chinese market
- Partnerships of Fashion Weeks: stimulating demand through content and access, in relevant cases supplying that demand through retail partnerships in the UK and China.
- Network development of investors, creatives, influencers, media, retailers and high-net worth individuals to partner with British designer businesses on local growth strategies
The development of the BFC’s China Fashion Business Network is a key pillar of development for the next 12 months, and many attendees at the lunch pledged their support to assist the BFC create a network of credible partners across investment, licensing, manufacturing, property, communications and retail in China.
As consumer confidence declines, it is time for Britain to prioritise post-Brexit trade deals and form better partnerships. Britain’s creativity and experience in the international fashion industry complements China’s efficiency and market capabilities. Together, these strengths will create the perfect ‘Belt and Road’ structure to broaden trade opportunities and re-embrace the ‘golden-era’ of Sino-British relations.
Also keen to forge an on-going trade relationship with Britain the Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Council for Promotion of International Trade, Guo Jingwei, held an event during fashion week to promote cultural interaction and economic cooperation between China and the UK.
Shenzhen Products Show 2018 and London Fashion Week
Rene Celestin, former Victoria’s Secret Creative Director, also presented a keynote speech on achieving strategic partnerships between Chinese and British enterprises.
With an integrated strategy between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau (the Greater Bay area) to improve international links, the aspirations of Shenzhen’s fashion industry to access the global market have increased. Shenzhen’s creative industry has become the city’s strength and has accelerated the export of fashion to international and domestic markets.
Shenzhen’s fashion industry is well-known for its innovation and quality, taking the lead in the era of intelligent manufacturing. After years of development, Shenzhen is in a leading position not only in China, but has also attracted a number of world-renowned enterprises to enter the market.
Bringing Britain and China closer together will encourage growth prospects in fields such as technological innovation, intelligent manufacturing and the creative industries. As Shenzhen continues to grow and transform, The Shenzhen Council for the Promotion of International Trade is confident that partnerships with the UK will stimulate innovation, brand-building and international expansion.